In the calendar year I attend or host about 15-20 potlucks. Most are ok, some are great and very few are so engaging that having to end one leaves you wanting just a little bit more.
An assortment of food dishes at a church potluck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Most people view potlcuks as a mean to be frugal. Different occasions call for potlucks where the host can’t possible feed everyone at once, usually when the number of people are over 10. I see them as a great opportunity to practice hospitality. Many potlucks held at my place are either right after house church or some other Congregational event involving larger crowds like baptisms, birthdays and the like.
In my mind the responsibility falls on the host, the person whom house the event is happening at, unless there’s a party planner involved. If potlucks are not coordinated properly the table ends up with very similar dishes. Last Sunday 3 dishes had chicken drum sticks, luckily they were all different flavours. The host has the opportunity to address the guest before the day and direct the flow of food people will be bringing and dedicating specific people to bring specific things, i.e. such and such person can bring salad, others can bring refreshments, others dessert and so on. Furthermore, the host also has the opportunity to set the mood, plan games and start conversation pieces, setting the tone for the evening/afternoon. Opening your home is one the bravest and coolest thing you can do to practice hospitality. People will see how you prepare, live and treat those who you consider close and loved. In Roman’s 12 we are encouraged to practice hospitality, opening the doors of your house is inviting people to your world. People will see you for who you truly are, allowing them to come in our home places the host in a vulnerable position. Many people don’t open their homes unless they’re in immaculate shape, which of course is not likely if you have children. I’m a huge believer in saying food brings people together. The camaraderie and time spent in company allows people to share and get to know one another.
Good times are to be had in proper planned potlucks and get together’s.
Share with us your potluck stories?
- How to Survive (and Thrive) at a Potluck (beatcancer2010.wordpress.com)
- Potluck Pinch (gabbybyers.wordpress.com)
October is the best month of the year. Not only do I get to celebrate my birthday, watch the Major League Baseball fall classic extravaganza, bask in the crisp October weather. I also with much delight get to cook and enjoy the world of squashes.
Winter Squash (Photo credit: Suzies Farm)
I love me a good squash. Boiled with butter, spiced roasted, puréed, in soup, creamed, candied, baked in pies. Squashes are the hearth of fall, they represent the change of season and the long hard work of our farmers. The squash season is long and arduous. In order to grow one, one must plant them in early spring and allow them to receive ton of sun, God providing of course.
Many a recipes will surface on the internet, cooking shows or even your grandma’s recipe Rolodex for your favourite dishes, including the much dreaded Pumpkin Spiced Latte (YUCK!) (no wait double YUCK!). One of my favourite squash is the spaghetti squash. I love how it flakes into strings and can be moulded in any shape and flavoured deliciously since it has a very light and delicate taste. My other best squash is the butternut squash. It roasts really well and makes a great purée and soup, and how can I forget the vast realm of zucchinis? I have some squashes here, right now and I’m going to start cooking some for this evening.
What’s a squash recipe you love?
- Butternut Squash Soup (glutenfree10itemsorless.wordpress.com)
- Fall into squash (toledoblade.com)
- How to Peel and Slice a Butternut Squash (simplystated.realsimple.com)
- Spaghetti Squash-Those-Calories Beef Lasagna (afreespiritedgirl.wordpress.com)
Long has been since we’ve made microwaveable popcorn. Instead we pop our own with a theater style popcorn make, thanks to my mom. It’s so as the title suggest, the flavor is delicious. Using 1/2 tbsp organic Olive oil for 1/4 cup of popping corn adding sea salt to taste. It truly is a wonderful treat!! Enjoy! What are some treats you like?
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I first heard of Mealshare through a restaurant I serviced and soon after from a good friend of mine who owns a southern cooking New Orleans’ style restaurant. Mealshare partners with restaurants to provide food for the less fortunate.
Here’s an excerpt from their website:
At Mealshare, we create partnerships with restaurants to help people, by providing one meal to someone in need for every Mealshare item purchased. Menu items that restaurants select to participate have a Mealshare logo next to them for easy recognition. For each Mealshare meal sold, restaurants give a portion of the proceeds to Mealshare. With this contribution, we ensure that one meal is provided for someone in need for every Mealshare purchased. Buy one, give one. Simple.
To provide meals, Mealshare receives money from our partner restaurants for each Mealshare meal sold, and we then donate money to our charitable partners. With that money, our partner charities are able to provide a complete and nutritious meal to someone in need. Partner charities, of course, have different meal costs as they operate in different areas and with different approaches, so a different amount of money gets donated by Mealshare in each case. In the end, we ensure that the number of meals provided to people in need matches the number of Mealshare items purchased. We hope you will take the time to find out more about our amazing charity partners by visiting the ‘Charities’ section of the website.
you can follow mealshare in twitter or facebook
@mealshareteam or facebook.com/MealshareTeam
Mealshare is a wonderful program dedicated to help the local charities to continue services and food to the homeless. I’m happy to say here in Edmonton are at least 3 restaurants participating. My hope is for the big players and chain restaurants to take part and spread the not only the word but the great benefits this program has to offer.
There’s a huge chance that only my Canadian friends will understand why the Caesar should be left alone. Since it’s Canada day weekend, I decided to speak about something really Canadian. The Caesar! a drink that is equally delicious as is awesome and truly Canadian. There’s been many variations of this drink in other countries but they simply fall short.
(Photo credit: hanspetermeyer.ca)
Quick history; It was invented in Calgary, Alberta in 1969 by restaurateur Walter Chell to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant in the city. It quickly became a popular mixed drink within Canada where over 350 million Caesars are consumed annually and it has inspired numerous variants. However, the drink remains almost unknown outside the country. It consist of Vodka, Clamato juice, Hot Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, and ice. Served in a Celery salt rimmed galls, garnished with a celery stick or pickled been, and lemon wedge.
Last father’s day we ended going for lunch as a family. My wife and I ordered 2 Caesar’s variant of the original and they were awful. Since it’s inception many have tried to replicate or re-create this drink. They add seafood, cure meats skewers and other types of alcohol like Tequila, Gin or Rum. It just doesn’t work. They may be OK variants and may taste enticing but the truth is the original is really, really good. Nothing beats a well made Caesar on a hot day. I was so disappointed with the one I had on father’s day. I had the Mojito Caesar which had tequila instead of Vodka. Not a good mix.
Caesars are really simple to make if you can get your hands on Clamato which may not be as easy to our friends south of the border. A Mott’s company mixed drink made from Clams and tomato juice, its they key ingredient and cannot be substituted. Tabasco sauce is the traditional hot sauce of choice while Worcestershire sauce is the final and last key to the puzzle. Bloody Mary’s are not the same, just saying! (trust me on that one)
HAPPY CANADA DAY EVERYONE!
Try this amazing drink and tell us what you think! I guarantee you’ll love it.
NOTE: don’t try it if you have seafood allergies since Clamato and Worcestershire sauce are made using shell-fish and/or fish.
One of my goals for this blog is to peel the layers of the onion and unveil some truths about the ins and outs of the restaurant business and the hospitality industry. Albeit, I will never do it justice like Anthony Bourdain does in his legendary book “Kitchen Confidential”. In this edition I will break down the last hour of a closing shift in most commercial kitchens. A sense of ease comes to all when the dinner rush winds down. Cooks start to go for after dinner brakes to ease tension and serving staff starts to dwindle down on by one. In my opinion this the one of the worst hours in cooking altogether.
Kitchen Confidential (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One big problem with this last hour of business is the closing duties. Managers and restaurant owners are so focused in saving money that they cause their kitchens to under perform and load the remaining cooks with a huge work load. In order to save money managers cut cooks and server shifts. One by one the cooks are sent home leaving behind 1 or 2 to flip the line, wash the dishes and set for the next day, plus they need to be done by the time doors close. All of this is happening while the restaurant is sitting new customers. Most restaurants open their tables when the reservations are over or until is time to close the doors. Here in lays the problem. The kitchen is expected to produce to the current customers and start the closing duties with a diminished crew and no extra time to clean up.
I’d be really weary to enter a middle of the line restaurant in the last hour of service. You will not get the best service, food or attention by your server. The experience will be inadequate at best. Though not every restaurant suffers from this phenomenon most are guilty of cutting short the service and cooking staff in the last hour to save a few dollars. Cooks will curse and say abominable things about you the new customer coming in thinking you still have 45 minutes to eat! BE CAREFUL.
Don’t be fooled by pretty smiles and quick food when adding to the work load of a few disgruntled employees looking to close shop for the night and release stress. Unless you know the establishment really well it’s better get your food delivered or take it to go!
Leave a comment and let us know of any horrible experiences you’ve had while dinning.
Because she can write it way better than I can.
Here’s a great blog post by someone who is very passionate about our food scene. #yegfood
Three cheers to Lindsay and the Next Act folks.